A Chat With @sykochica
How did you get the idea for Steemprentice and how has the journey so far?
A couple months ago the trend was to put out guides to help other Steemit users. I ended up writing a Marketing Guide:
https://steemit.com/steemit/@sykochica/strategy-to-getting-bigger-payouts-on-steemit in which a user asked in a comment about applying these strategies to their own blog. After giving a personalized, in depth reply, I decided to put out a post that offered a similar free writeup of suggestions to build up and @phoenixmaid took me up on here offer. You can see the discussion and strategies in this post:
Anyway, @thecryptofiend left a comment in there that he'd like to have a post providing a little better idea of the analysis I was doing these 'writeups.' Which led to this post:
Just to keep this short, I started to find and mentor new users that had the drive and I couldn't do more than 3, even then wearing thin at times. After researching other mentor tagged posts, I found one by @donkeypong, dm'ed him a bit to get some tips, and formed the group. They others in the Steemit Talk Podcast helped me come up with the name. (Steemit + Apprentice)
I've always been the type of person that relishes seeing the progression and success of others, so I've really enjoyed the last month or so since the group launched. A ton of mentors came on board immediately like @reneeneavou, @gonzo, @virtualgrowth and @kryptik to name a few. Pretty quickly we had an influx of people looking to ask questions, get help, feedback, etc and things just took off. I think we had about 75 users in channel after just the first week.
Have you seen considerable results so far?
I've fantastic results with most members seeing that first or enhanced success within a few days. @bmwrider is one who took off immediately. Go back through his blog and you'll see a long string of payouts under a quarter. You can easily see the day he joined the #steemprentice group. I lost track after a while but I know we've helped at minimum 75 unique users, probably higher (the tracking was too difficult to keep up with after a while,) however most of these people are still in channel, giving and getting help frequently.
I will say that I'm extremely concerned with #projectnewbie being paused. Our biggest limiting factor until recently was exposure to new people and those needing help. Project newbie took a considerable burden off of us in that regard often leaving a direction to our mentor group should they have questions or seek help.
In my mind, I'll need to find a way to have to find a way to get in contact with these new users. My current ideas are either institute finders fees, requiring some whale backing, which thus far has been in rather short supply, since I can't afford this myself and/or a have a bot made (or donated) that would comment with a welcome message giving instructions on how to get to our channel. We are now the front lines of finding those needing help AND providing it. Exposure really has been a MAJOR limiting factor thus far, so we have to do something in response to the pause of #projectnewbie.
Recently I have been concerned about the burnout of our most active mentors in the group. With only so much time in the day, posts to publish, people to help, channels to monitor...there's only so much we can expect from somebody. While I'm sure one or two things have fallen through the cracks as far as peoples questions, pretty much everything has gotten a response. But I am afraid that something has to be done to motivate other mentors to join and donate what time they want. I'd honestly love be be able to have mentors be compensated in some way for the time and effort put in. I really don't see this any different that those compensated for their time in the @steemcleaners group. But again, some backing for this is needed.
What has been your impression on recent projects by Steemians to improve the overall quality of Steemit platform?
Overall I'm a huge fan of recent projects on Steemit. I've already spoken to the important role that @projectnewbie has played. Robinhood whale was the first curation group that came up, whose idea and work has been fantastic! Being more a dolphin group what they have put together in no small feat. One thing that I really appreciated from them was the copy/paste comments on posts they upvoted. This is really something that I'd love to see used in the playbook of @curie as well.
@curie has also been a huge benefit to the whole community. I often make the arguments that Steemit NEEDS intermediate solutions while the finals solutions are gotten to and hashed out. I honestly can't imagine what this site would be like had those two curation groups not formed. In reality, those groups are what allow us to get users those thrill of that first post having a $20 payout. Steemprentice wouldn't be able to do what we do without these groups, for us to get our members exposed to individual whales would take ten times as long, and not be terribly feasible.
Are there any plans to expand the #steemprentice Project?
An immediate expansion of focus has to be the connecting with new users through the introduceyourself, introducemyself, and introduction threads to greet and invite them to the group..but we've already covered this. One thing that's already been started by @RubelliteFae is putting for our members to put out a template that others can copy/paste into an editor giving them a framework to just put images and text into. You'll be seeing my 'official' post on this in the next day or two. A collection of templates for various post types like photography/art, how-to/diy, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, etc help some users to no end. I've personally made a handful of templates for others that they are still using and refining to make their own.
I've also joined the creator, @barrydutton, of the Steemit 101 facebook group to ideally help answer questions/concerns on that side of things. This also ties in with what I'm doing to put together an 'Ambassador Tool Kit' to provide media, slides, easy explanations for common questions, etc. In my opinion word of mouth marketing is the best (if not only short term way) to get through concerns they might have for Steemit. I can attest myself, if @winstonwolfe, whose judgement I value, had told me about this place, it would have just been another 'too good to be true' pitch in my mind and I'd not have given it another thought.
The other exciting piece in the works is moving things some events out of rocket chat. I want to make a newbie webinar that can be recorded for reuse as well as use the donated channel in the Beyond Bitcoin Mumble server to record impromptu Q and A sessions, member spotlights, etc. @virtualgrowth has also been working on Steemland.com and the Steemland island inside YR Grid (similar to second life, but uses bitcoin for in game transactions.) What were wanting to do is place certain tutorials on billboards which when clicked would award people small amounts of bitcoin. Even if users don't actually read the info, they know where it is. Not only is this a great use of a 'faucet' in my opinion, but it also helps to expose non-crypto people to the crypto world in an extremely positive way (since they have to have a wallet for their earnings to drop into.) There's been other discussions on organizing group events in there and/or having a projector so we might have the webinar itself in there.
There is a small learning curve just to get into YR Grid, but once inside it's pretty easy.
What are some features and plans you would like to see on Steemit?
Right now I see some low hanging fruit issues like adding the the official FAQ to the menu bar (which latest github issues said was coming very soon) and ideally some onboarding message to new users telling them how to find our group or other places for help. Not taking anything away from the FAQ, but you can't really hand someone a 300 page manual and say 'alright, you're all set to go.' There needs to be something less daunting to give new people at first, until the are comfortable to use the FAQ as a reference.
I see acquiring new users (and retaining them) as Steemit's biggest issue right now. Features I'd love to see to help this include:
Embedding an editor similar to @charlieshrem's Steempower.org/editor that gives side by side code/preview while keeping a WYSIWYG feel. Personally, I tell new users to click the markdown button (to remove the editor buttons) and not go back. I ran in to bugs myself when going between the editor/markdown mode, that I felt it just caused confusion and I had a hard time helping remotely. Every person has to switch modes just to include center tags, this issue constantly came up.
I'd love to see a 3-5 minute promo/onboarding video that specifically introduces steemit, answer the question of 'where does the money' come from (on upvotes) only using the phrase 'digital currency' and not crypto, maybe how to setup a btc wallet to put earnings from Steemland (put the how to cash out explanation elsewhere) and all the places this 'Welcoming Community' has for help. I still love @winstonwolf's phrase of 'come for the money, stay for the community.'
Finally I really want to see the marketplace take off. I've been watching Peerhub since it started taking Steem and am really excited to see this area of Steemit grow. To this end, what I'd love to see developed is the ability of users having their own internal 'Store Page.' When they go to submit a post they can select a post type of blog or item. While Peerhub has it's own traffic, a user store on site would be indispensable.
A Chat With @jamtaylor
How did you get the idea for the SteemitPhotoChallenge and how has been your experience so far?
It was very spur of the moment. I was thinking that it would be cool to have more interaction in the photography tag and have a little challenge for people to get together around. The experience has been very positive, people seem to really enjoy them, and the goals have been met which were to increase interaction within the photography tag, increase the content being shared. It also became about spreading value to undervalued photographers through prizes and exposure.
What have been the challenges so far?
The challenges of running the contest sometimes is time during the weekend for judging, but I also include guest judges which also gives others the opportunity to go through everything and be inspired, a small reward for judging is also given as a thank you. The biggest challenge is picking the winners, because there are usually such good photos submitted.
What's your favorite entry that has wowed you?
What are your plans to take the challenge to the next level?
I'd like to increase the interaction, bring more photographers to the platform, and give away more stuff!!
Which features would you like to see in place to attract more photographers?
For Steemit itself I'd like to see the removal of the 30 day limit on rewards, so that people can earn small amounts over the life of the platform as much as they advertise their old posts. It creates a very ephemeral culture here. For the SPC, I'm not sure - but I've been thinking about it. We'll see what happens!
Thanks @jamtaylor for all the efforts so far….Looking forward to more awesome photos submitted and perhaps even more supporters ;)
This Week On Steemit
A lot of interesting events happened this week. And in case you missed them, we’ve got your back. Here are some of the most important events that happened on Steemit this week.
~ A number of Steemains like @aizensou et al focus fully on the Steem ecosystem
~ @stevewalshcot releases a very important Woocommerce Wordpress Integration Plugin
~ @kyle confirms coinpayments.net acceptance of Steem and SBD
~ Steem drops from last week’s position on the coinmarketcap.com’s crypto market capitalization list to a current
~ @charlieshrem releases new update for SteemPower, the cool editior that allows you to save and post directly to Steemit. He also releases SteemAccess
~ For a comprehensive list of dedicated Steem apps. check out SteemTools.com
~ Meanwhile, SBD reached a recent high with rates ranging from 1 SD = 0.92 -0.95 this week
~$0.38 and $0.42 were the lowest and highest value traded this week for a unit of Steem respectively.
Steemfest Tickets Giveaway #2 Winners
Last week, I announced the second round of Steemfest Tickets giveaways and I’m delighted to announce: @thebluepanda @richardcrill as the winners. The funds have been transferred to the winners and we look forward to seeing you guys there.
34 days to go
See you there! And Watch out for next week’s giveaway!
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A LOST ONE
SteemMag is coming bit late this weekend cos I lost a close one yesterday morning… Also looking at tweaking the posting times in the coming weeks..
Life is precious, guys! Stay awesome and thanks for the support.